Just a consolation or jackpot after all?
In 1995, Carinthia and the entire Siemens world were talking about only one topic: Where would the new semiconductor fab for 256 Megabit DRAM chips be built? Besides Villach, Dresden and North England (North Tyneside) were also considered as potential locations.
With investments of 12 billion shillings (approx. 1.37 billion €), around 1,500 jobs were to be created. This would have meant a doubling of the Villach workforce. In August 1995, the Group management in Munich made the decision in favor of England. Villach's mayor Helmuth Manzenreiter commented, "Being the world's leading location for power semiconductors isn't so bad either."
The "consolation prize" turned out to be the main prize: Villach was developed into a global competence center for power semiconductors with investments of about five billion shillings. Over several years, 500 new jobs were created. Once again, it is the " industrial goods" that provide further growth, not the volatile memory business. In 1998, the site in England had to learn that the production of memory chips in Europe was a dead end: Just one year after opening, the plant was closed again.
Laying of the foundation stone for the new competence center for power semiconductors. From left to right: Helmut Manzenreiter, Mayor of Villach from 1987 to 2015, Franz Vranitzky, Chancellor of the Republic of Austria from 1986-1997, Albert Hochleitner, General Director of Siemens Austria, Volkhart Matthäus, Siemens AG, Jürgen Knorr, Head of the Semiconductor Division of Siemens AG.grundsteinlegung
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Picture of the construction work for Hall 16h16-2
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